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[MDD04] for Publication_ Re-introducing the Fight Against Drugs - A Communication Strategy

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[MDD04] for Publication_ Re-introducing the Fight Against Drugs - A Communication Strategy

  1. 1. 1 Adrian Baillie-Stewart Keywords: communication strategy, fight against drugs, drugs in society, participatory communication paradigm, high-level strategic proposal, development challenge drugs, hybridised format. Abstract: This communication strategy adopts its purpose and intent from conclusions derived in the prior completed research paper, Campaign Comparisons: Why TB Health Trumps the Fight Against Drugs on South Africa’s Development Agenda (Baillie-Stewart, 2015). The South African Government’s prior efforts to battle the prevalence of drugs, have proved to be unsuccessful. This was attributed to the absence of an integrated and co-ordinated communications (core) function that overarched the combined efforts of the various South African Government departments, civil society institutions and non-profit organisations. The reintroduced Fight Against Drugs communication strategy is firmly situated within a participatory communication paradigm. The Fight Against Drugs communication strategy is a high-level strategic proposal that employs a hybridised format of recommended international best-practices that adequately address the complex Fight Against Drugs development challenge South Africa. The Fight Against Drugs communication strategy successfully reintroduces a revised set of objectives and criteria to adequately support the ongoing Fight Against Drugs which ought to be promoted to a top priority on the South African development agenda. Author Information: Director/founder — Content Strategics (Pty) Ltd. Media and communications consultant, social media and online content manager, media researcher, retired photographer and photojournalist. Part-time (mid-career) postgraduate student (MA Journalism) at Stellenbosch University, South Africa.
  2. 2. 2 CONTENTS   CONTENTS  ............................................................................................................................................................  2   INTRODUCTION  ..................................................................................................................................................  3   DEVELOPMENT  —  DEFINITION  AND  PARADIGM  ....................................................................................  3   DEVELOPMENT  DEFINITION  .................................................................................................................................................  3   DEVELOPMENT  PARADIGM  ...................................................................................................................................................  4   REINTRODUCING  THE  FIGHT  AGAINST  DRUGS  —  A  COMMUNICATION  STRATEGY  .....................  4   THE  FIGHT  AGAINST  DRUGS  IS  BY  NO  MEANS  WON  ......................................................................................................  4   COMMUNICATION  STRATEGY  —  A  PROPOSED  SOLUTION  TO  A  “BUNDLE  OF  PROBLEMS”  ......................................  6   REINTRODUCING  THE  FIGHT  AGAINST  DRUGS  COMMUNICATION  STRATEGY  —  SETTING   OUT  THE  STRATEGIC  CRITERIA  ...................................................................................................................  7   NATURE  OF  THE  DEVELOPMENT  CHALLENGE  .................................................................................................................  7   REINTRODUCING  NEW  OBJECTIVES  AND  CRITERIA  ..............................................................................  8   GET  EVERYBODY  ROUND  THE  TABLE  —  KEY  STAKEHOLDERS  MEET  .........................................................................  8   THE  GOLDEN  THREAD  WOVEN  THROUGH  EVERYTHING  —  COMMUNICATION  STAKEHOLDER/S  .........................  8   PROPOSED  BROADER  STAKEHOLDER-­‐NUCLEUS  ...............................................................................................................  9   ROLES  OF  BROADER  STAKEHOLDER-­‐NUCLEUS  ..............................................................................................................  10   GEOGRAPHIC  AND  DEMOGRAPHIC  FOCUS  .......................................................................................................................  10   KEY  MESSAGES  .....................................................................................................................................................................  11   KEY  TARGET  AUDIENCES  ...................................................................................................................................................  12   DATA  GATHERING  FRAMEWORK  —  RESULTS-­‐BASED  MANAGEMENT  ......................................................................  12   FUNDING  BUDGET  ...............................................................................................................................................................  13   MONITORING  AND  EVALUATION  —  CRITERIA  ...............................................................................................................  14   TIMELINE  ..........................................................................................................................................................  15   CONCLUSION  ....................................................................................................................................................  16   ENDNOTES  ........................................................................................................................................................  17   REFERENCES  .....................................................................................................................................................  18  
  3. 3. 3 INTRODUCTION As a natural progression, this paper adopts its purpose and intent from conclusions derived in the research paper, Campaign Comparisons: Why TB Health Trumps the Fight Against Drugs on South Africa’s Development Agenda (Baillie-Stewart, 2015). Contained within that paper’s research findings, the following conclusion is articulated (Baillie-Stewart 2015, p. 12, emphasis mine): … Although the TB Health campaign is a lot stronger than the Building a Drug Free Society campaign, both campaigns nevertheless do suggest many shortcomings in the strategic communications approach that was adopted by each. Next time around, with a decidedly more holistic approach to be taken—and stronger compliance in accordance with advocated theoretical methods for strategic communications to be taken—improvement in communications strategies for both campaigns is possible. Consequently, for this paper, the author has chosen to focus on the design and presentation of a communication strategy that will address the primary challenges that were evident in the weaker of the two development objectives exposed in the former cited research — namely, that of the Building a Drug Free Society campaign. The communication strategy will include relevant key-components that would also be commonly found in more generic-type project proposals. Next, the author will provide a necessary, but succinct (contextually relevant) series of definitions of Development, as well as provide a short motivation for specifically situating the communication strategy within a Participatory Communication development paradigm. DEVELOPMENT  —  DEFINITION  AND  PARADIGM   DEVELOPMENT  DEFINITION   Drawing upon same previous research article that is being discussed, Melkote and Steeves (Baillie-Stewart, 2013, p. 4) define Development as the generally understood “process by which societal conditions are improved”. Friberg and Hettne (Baillie-Stewart, 2013) however, are of the resolute view that “there is no universal path to development … [and therefore] each society must find its own [workable] strategy”. But, because of the vast scope and multi-faceted dimensions to development, authors Todaro and Smith (Baillie-Stewart, 2013) believe that “development should ... be perceived as a multidimensional process involving the
  4. 4. 4 reorganization and reorientation of entire economic and social systems”, …which may even necessitate the need to (possibly) alter “institutional, social, and administrative structures” (Baillie-Stewart, 2013). In summary, the definition this communication strategy adopts, integrates a synthesis of the preceding definitions. DEVELOPMENT  PARADIGM   In the same research, Baillie-Stewart’s (2013, p. 9) exploration of participatory communication as a preferred paradigm (or theoretical framework) for Southern-African and African contexts, concludes with this declaration: … [The] participatory communication approach … [feasibly] remains the best development communication option for use in contemporary Southern Africa and South Africa. It is thus the … preferred choice for ongoing use and applicability in many contemporary development communication contexts and … would positively contribute towards the development process. Consequently, this communication strategy—that supports the identified development objective—is firmly situated within a participatory communication paradigm. The following section introduces the necessary context which forms the basis for South Africa’s ongoing battle against drugs, …as it presents itself on the macro level of the South African development agenda. The ensuing sub-section presents the reader with a requisite discussion, supporting significant reasons for adopting this communications strategy’s hybridised format, that has—in the author’s examined view—been purposefully crafted in order to adequately address the complex Fight Against Drugs development challenge that South Africa is obliged to continue with. REINTRODUCING  THE  FIGHT  AGAINST  DRUGS  —  A  COMMUNICATION   STRATEGY   THE  FIGHT  AGAINST  DRUGS  IS  BY  NO  MEANS  WON   As recently as Saturday, 10 October 2015, at Eldorado Parki , Soweto, leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA), Mmusi Maimane, launched several criticisms at South Africa’s Government, led by President Jacob Zuma (Wakefield, 2015). Maimane was reported to have said that [development] “programmes fail” because “promises are broken the moment they’re made”
  5. 5. 5 (Wakefield, 2015). Alluding to social development efforts being made in South Africa’s Western Province, Maimane stated that although a vast amount of money is spent on “prevention and rehabilitation programmes, the fight against drugs must have a wider focus than just law enforcement and rehabilitation” (Wakefield, 2015). Maimane’s assertions by no means suggest that the South African Government does not take an earnest regard for the social importance of implementing specific interventions by its government departments, as part of its ongoing effort to manage the pervasiveness of drugs in South African society. In addition, a significant contextual fact is this: the South African Government’s National Drug Master Plan (NDMP) was formulated by, the Central Drug Authority in terms of the Prevention and Treatment of Drug Dependency Act (20 of 1992), as amended, as well as the Prevention of and Treatment for Substance Abuse Act (70 of 2008), as amended, and approved by Parliament to meet the requirements of the international bodies concerned and at the same time the specific needs of South African communities, which sometimes differ from those of other countries (National Drug Master Plan [NDMP]: 2013 - 2017 2013, p. 4). On its official website, the South African Central Drug Authority (CDA), lists the various departments that have been charged with the “drawing up [of] operational plans referred to as ‘mini-drug master plans’ (MDMPs) in line with [the] core functions” of those specific departments (CDA: Interventions by Government Departments, 2015). However, it is apparent that one of primary reasons the Government’s efforts to battle the prevalence of drugs may be failing, is the apparent absence of an integrated and co-ordinated communications (core) function that is shared between the various government departments. The CDA’s official website (CDA: Interventions by Government Departments, 2015) lists numerous departments and/or authoritiesii that have been charged with accountability for delivering their departmental MDMPs. But interestingly, the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), which falls under the Ministry of Communications, is not listed as one of the key departments that ought to be fulfilling its very own unique set of core communications functions in the ongoing fight against drugs. The fact that this possible oversight has occurred, is possible case study proof of the United Nations Development
  6. 6. 6 Programme’s (UNDP) assertions that, governments, when formulating policies that address development challenges, often regard the communications component thereof as a “secondary activity” that is more often than not, “tacked on as an afterthought (UNDP Developing a Communications Strategy, 2014, para. 1). This communication strategy may well serve to inspire the CDA to consider making necessary amendments to its National Drug Master Plan (NDMP). This potentially intricate process could be hastened by appointing the SA Government’s Communication and Information System (i.e. GCIS)—via a parliamentary proclamation motioned by the Ministry of Communications—to take ownership and thus fulfil a primary role in the adoption and inclusion of this communication strategy (and hence, fulfil its necessary specialist-role within the broader NDMP too). As alluded to in the Introduction, the following sub-section outlines the recommended hybridised format that has been purposefully crafted in order to adequately address the complex Fight Against Drugs development challenge that South Africa is obliged to continue with. COMMUNICATION  STRATEGY  —  A  PROPOSED  SOLUTION  TO  A  “BUNDLE  OF  PROBLEMS”   This paper makes use of a hybridised format (i.e. using a combination) of prescribed international best-practice formats for communications strategies — one which is in use by the UK Government Service (Writing a Communication Strategy, 2014) and the other in use by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) (Tweneboa-Kodua et al., 2008). The reason for the adoption of a combination of international best-practice communications strategy formats per se, stems from the NDMP’s intent to implement policy that also takes cognisance of international best-practices by “[meeting] the requirements of the international bodies concerned” (National Drug Master Plan [NDMP]: 2013 - 2017, 2013, p. 4) Thus, preliminary planning and research during the drafting stages of this communications strategy, involved the adoption of some UNICEF best practices. In particular, one of these best practices involves the need to include a dedicated participatory communications element in the strategy. This is of primary importance for a developing country; which, according to the International Statistical Institute, South Africa is classified as (The International Statistical Institute (ISI) 2015).
  7. 7. 7 The UK Government Service states that a communications strategy addresses a solution to a “bundle of problems”, expressed in a “single, coherent narrative” (Writing a Communication Strategy, 2014, p. 3). An important distinction to be made is that “strategy differs from a plan in that it: • considers the wider context, • [it] tends to take a longer-term view, • [and it] avoids the detail of individual activities” (Writing a Communication Strategy, 2014, p. 3). To encapsulate further clarity surrounding the purpose of this communication strategy, further insight is gained from Mefalopulos and Kamlongera (Mefalopulos, 2008, p. 111): … [A] strategy is about achieving specific, feasible, and clearly stated objectives, with the available resources, within an established timeline. Similarly, a communication strategy can be defined as a well-planned series of actions aimed at achieving specific objectives through the use of communication methods, techniques, and approaches. With the preceding framework and set of motivations now firmly embedded within the text of this communication strategy, let us proceed to outline the definitive criteria constituting the kernel of the communication strategy. REINTRODUCING  THE  FIGHT  AGAINST  DRUGS  —  SETTING  OUT  THE   STRATEGIC  CRITERIAiii   NATURE  OF  THE  DEVELOPMENT  CHALLENGEiv   The nature of this particular development challenge, is such that past efforts to successfully and efficiently drive a communication campaign to support a countrywide ‘fight against drugs’ has largely been unsuccessful. Conducting a cursory scan of online news media reports quickly suggests that the battle to reduce the pervasiveness of drugs in South Africa may seemingly be a lost cause. However, this need not be the case at all. Thus, in an positive bid to revive these efforts, there is no option but for South Africa—with its National, Provincial and Local government departments, and many other stakeholders from
  8. 8. 8 civil society, corporate business and the broader community at large—to continue to advance the long-term battle against the burgeoning drug problem in South Africa. The Fight Against Drugs, second only to HIV/Aids and Corruption perhaps, ought to be one of the country’s top- priority development challenges. But, without sufficient allocation of numerous and varied resources, to accompany such a top- priority development challenge—coupled with the political will to win this battle—the Fight Against Drugs will remain a losing battle. Next we look at what the primary new objectives and criteria of this reintroduced communication strategy will be. REINTRODUCING  NEW  OBJECTIVES  AND  CRITERIA   At a macro level, considering this is indeed a strategy document, it is best—at this stage of such a high-level document at first—to formulate a single and coherent narrative that (for now), only considers the wider context, taking the longest-term view into account, and which certainly does avoid the “detail of individual activities” (Writing a Communication Strategy, 2014, p. 3). GET  EVERYBODY  AROUND  THE  TABLE  —  KEY  STAKEHOLDERS  MEET   The South African Government, in collaboration with one or two of its primary international alliances, would need to act as the initial hosts (and primary driver) of the first caucus of all participating key stakeholders. The view taken in this strategic communication (proposal), is that participation is primary and thus key to soliciting the committed interest of all parties who will form the eventual stakeholder-nucleus that will collectively own the Fight Against Drugs communication campaign. THE  GOLDEN  THREAD  WOVEN  THROUGH  EVERYTHING  —  COMMUNICATION   STAKEHOLDER/S   The importance of the communications (core) function—as alluded to earlier in this strategy document—cannot be overemphasised. This communication strategy takes the firm view that, the participatory communication paradigm underpinning the Fight Against Drugs development challenge, calls for a well resourced and authoritative entity to broker the initial stakeholder dialogue. The central objective thus, would be to gain the full involvement of the suitably well resourced and authoritative South African GCIS, …plus, several other communications specialists and entities from a broad socio-political spectrum.
  9. 9. 9 To do this, it is recommended that, at the most senior (authoritative) political level, an ANC- initiated Parliamentary motion (Glossary - Parliament of South Africa 2015) must be proposed by the Ministry of Communications members of Parliament, Minister Faith Muthambi and/or Deputy Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahamsv . Support for this high priority (development) communication strategy needs to come from the ‘very top’. Ultimately, proactively confronting the fight against drugs development challenge will require the unequivocal democratic support of senior politicians who represent the voting electorate — i.e. the citizens of South Africa. Once the involvement of the GCIS is secured and ratified in Parliament, …in partnership with a select-group of ancillary communications stakeholders, the inception and inauguration of a central Communication Coordination Group (Tweneboa-Kodua et al. 2008, p. 10) will naturally follow. Once constituted, this Communication Coordination Group (CCG) will drive all communication-related strategies and operations for the full lifecycle of the Fight Against Drugs campaign/s. PROPOSED  BROADER  STAKEHOLDER-­‐NUCLEUS   Lienert (2010) upholds that participatory methods involving planning [and communication] must include involvement of the stakeholders who will be participating in a particular [development related] project. Obtaining stakeholders’ “broad consensus on planned initiatives”, whilst also leveraging the benefit of their combined reservoir of knowledge in order to “find workable, efficient and sustainable solutions” (Lienert 2010, para. 1), is a decided benefit of establishing a healthy stakeholder-nucleus (i.e. stakeholder caucus). The following list comprises the proposed stakeholder-nucleus for the Fight Against Drugs: o INTERNATIONAL,  GOVERNMENT  AND  LOCAL  GOVERNMENT  STAKEHOLDERS   South African Police Services All South African Provincial Government Departments Western Cape Department of Community Safety Central Drug Authority (CDA) Interpol: Drug Trafficking Office United Nations (UN) Office on Drugs and Crime European Commission (EU) Department International Cooperation on Drug Control o COMMERCIAL  &  INSTITUTIONAL  STAKEHOLDERS   [Communication] Telkom (South Africa)
  10. 10. 10 [Communication] Vodacom (South Africa) [Communication] MTN (South Africa) [Communication] South African Broadcasting Corporation (South Africa) [Communication] NASPERS (South Africa) [Communication] MultiChoice (South Africa) Pick ‘n Pay (South Africa) Foundation for a Drug Free World (International) Full list of stakeholders yet to be finalised — additional commercial and institutional stakeholders to account for a total of 15 South African and 3 International entities. o DEVELOPMENT  STAKEHOLDERS   Anti Drug Alliance South Africa South African National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence (SANCA) National Development Agency (NDA) NB — The Southern African Development Community (SADC): only certain member states bordering on South Africa’s geographic boundaries; namely, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. ROLES  OF  BROADER  STAKEHOLDER-­‐NUCLEUS   From the strategic perspective of this document, it is best to avoid “the detail of individual activities” (Writing a Communication Strategy 2014, p. 3) as well as to prescribe the details of the assortment of roles to be assumed by the many stakeholders. Thus, yet again, the participatory communication element underpinning this strategy necessitates that details pertinent to stakeholder roles with follow at a later phase during the design of the operational plan that will formulated in workshops at the Fight Against Drugs Indaba (see Timeline). GEOGRAPHIC  AND  DEMOGRAPHIC  FOCUS   The Fight Against Drugs is a countrywide, National development challenge. Accordingly, this communication strategy’s reach extends to South Africa’s full population demographic, covering all borders of South Africa. Further afield—internationally—communication will also go out to all South African diaspora; those temporarily living abroad, expatriates and travellers. To offer some sort of comparison, as to the magnitude and scale of the the Fight Against Drugs communication campaign, would be to compare it to a South African Provincial or National election campaign.
  11. 11. 11 KEY  MESSAGES     Owing to the strong participatory communication element factored into this communication strategy, much of the actual ‘content’ surrounding the key messages will be determined later. Importantly, stakeholder engagement and participation with the various communities and the broader public at large, will take full regard of the critical importance to reach the full national demographic when disseminating messages. Primarily however, the suggested framework to guide the stakeholder teams that will be designing content for all messages, are advised to use the following message-determination criteria adapted from the (UNDG Change Management Toolkit, 2008): • The key messages … must be conveyed throughout the duration of all campaigns and mini-campaigns. • Enforce that this campaign is a reintroduction of something that previously failed, but that the battle (against drugs) is by no means over! The People of South Africa & its leadership and all communities and organisation of many kinds, will carry on with the Fight Against Drugs! • Messages must not be prescribed or enforced. Rather, processes and requisite “know-how” (pg.3) will be given to those who will be designing content for all messages. Members of the stakeholder-nucleus and the Communication Coordination Group (CCG) must always endeavour to avoid telling various parties “what to say”. Participation in the communication process warrants this democratic, participative approach. Additionally, the content for all campaign messages needs to be crafted in such a way that the broadest spectrum of views that emanated from the participatory process with stakeholders and communities, must be factored into the message dissemination process. This emphasises the need to two-way reciprocal communication to be encouraged, for this campaign. We do not wish to return to a development paradigm that resembles the former “top down approach” (Baillie-Stewart, 2013) which was so characteristic of development initiatives in the era prior to the evolution of the participatory communication paradigm. During the development of message content and medium, it is imperative that the message is linked to clearly identifiable goals and objectives (UNDG Change Management Toolkit, 2008) of the Fight Against Drugs development challenge. Further to this, the following message
  12. 12. 12 criteria is important: convey the urgency and magnitude of the initiative; the message must be memorable; and, designers of the message/s need to ensure that the audience is willing to accept (and process) [the] message (ibid.). Lastly, the following control criteria for all messages is strongly suggested when each instance of a particular message is being drafted, and eventually disseminated thereafter: clarity, consistency, main points, tone and appeal, credibility, public need (ibid.). KEY  TARGET  AUDIENCES   Participatory communication principles dictate that — • Stakeholders and communication specialists will determine and define the key target audiences during a special workshop session at the Fight Against Drugs Indaba (see Timeline). The primary audience segments will be classified in the following categories (ibid.): • Internal Audiences • External Audiences DATA  GATHERING  FRAMEWORK  —  RESULTS-­‐BASED  MANAGEMENT   This communication strategy prioritises the importance of good data. Consequently, “results- based management is a key tool for development effectiveness” (Roberts and Khattri, 2012, p. 5). For this reason, the gathering of data (of various types) throughout the full extent of the development cycle, is mandatory. This ensures that a quantifiable “evidence-based approach” for ongoing monitoring and evaluation, is purposefully embedded within the strategic framework, thereby facilitating an accurate appraisal of the strategic objectives (ibid.). This strategy prescribes an engaged involvement by all of the stakeholders, in the routine, reliable and regular gathering of data — particularly those from the stakeholder-nucleus. During the Fight Against Drugs Indaba, the Communications Coordination Group (CCG) will facilitate the necessary workshops and training; the outcome of which, will lead to the drafting of a comprehensive document, entitled Fight Against Drugs: Result-based Management User Guide. The User Guide will include an extensive outline of the data framework, processes to be used for gathering the data, how to monitor the data for suitability, plus further guidelines on how to measure and monitor problem data, timeframes, scope and the intended outcomes of employing the Result-based Management Approach to all programme-generated data.
  13. 13. 13 FINANCES  –  FUNDING  BUDGET     Considering the size of this development challenge, together with the size of the communication campaign needed to support it, the “case for [sufficient] funds should reflect the mission of granting institution[s]” (Zonn and Sokout 2008, p. 2). In this case, stakeholder involvement and engagement is pivotal to successful financial management and fundraising for the campaign. The thoughtful recommendation offered in this communication strategy, is that the initial “seed funds” (Seed Capital Definition | Investopedia 2015) be provided by the South African taxpayer — no doubt, via a budget allocation from the South African Government. The actuary-approved seed capital amount/figure, necessary to kick start the programme, is: US$2 million (ZAR26 million, at prevailing exchange rate) It is projected that the SA Government’s contribution will amount to an estimated at 25% of the total project cost for the full Fight Against Drugs communication campaign. The remaining 75% of the funding, which is calculate to be: US$6 million (ZAR78.5 million), will be sourced from a variety of local and international funders, philanthropists and government bodies — including possible funds to come from the stakeholder-nucleus itself. The total actuary-estimated budget requirement for the Fight Against Drugs project, is projected to be in the region of: US$8 million — ZAR105 million. NOTE: — The audited actuarial breakdown of these figures, including the accompanying detailed budget breakdown, will be supplied to all participating members from the final group of members that constitutes the stakeholder-nucleus, as well as the Communications Coordination Group (CCG).
  14. 14. 14 MONITORING  AND  EVALUATION  —  CRITERIA   Stakeholders and communication specialists will determine the monitoring and evaluation criteria during a special sitting at the Fight Against Drugs Indaba (to be hosted at the International Cape Town Convention Centre).  
  15. 15. 15 4  YEAR  TIMELINE  :  3  YEAR  CAMPAIGN  PLUS  1  YEAR  POST-­‐MORTEM   Activity Time Allocated Dates Strategy Preparation (with first proposal of communication strategy) — this communication strategy document Completed By end: October 2015 1st ‘high-level’ meeting to present this strategic planning proposal (this communication strategy document) to Communications Ministry of the SA Government. 2 months Anytime during: November / December 2015 Milestone : agreement to proceed — reached 2 months By end: November / December 2015 Strategy 1st Revision (prepare first official revision of original strategic communication document) 1 month By end: December 2015 Communications Ministry to propose motion in Parliament 2 months January / February 2016 Milestone: motion passed and accepted in Parliament — democratic agreement to proceed and to allocate initial ZAR 26 million from the National Treasury Ministry End February financial year 2016 Get Everybody Around the Table 6 months By end: June 2016 Key Milestone: Stakeholder-nucleus team finalised 1 month By end: July 2016 Strategy 2nd Revision (prepare second official revision of 1st official revision of strategic communication document) 1 month By end: August 2016 Key Milestone: Fight Against Drugs INDABA 1 month By end: September 2016 Prepare comprehensive operations (project) plan — to include all participatory communication feedback, budgets, and further research 2 months By end: November 2016 Strategy FINAL Revision (prepare FINAL official revision of 2nd official revision of strategic communication document) 1 month By end: November 2016 FINAL CONVERSION of Communication Strategy to DETAILED OPERATIONAL IMPLEMENTATION PLAN 2 months By end: December 2016 GO LIVE — Fight Against Drugs 2 years By end: December 2018 Monitoring and Evaluation — reporting, research and ongoing results-based management 2 years (intermittent and various intervals) By end: December 2018 Key Milestone: Fight Against Drugs CAMPAIGN ENDS By end: December 2018 Post-mortem follow-up and ongoing monitoring and evaluation — reporting, research and ongoing results-based management 1 year By end: December 2019  
  16. 16. 16 CONCLUSION   Previous research conducted by the proposer (and author) of this communication strategy asserted that one of primary reasons that the Government’s prior efforts to battle the prevalence of drugs was unsuccessful, was the decided absence of an integrated and co-ordinated communications (core) function that overarched the combined efforts of the various Government departments, civil society institutions and non-profit organisations. Consequently the broader development challenge to reduce the prevalence of drugs in South Africa was seemingly a lost cause. However, South Africa—with it’s Government taking the lead—is compelled to carry on with the battle by not giving up on this complex development challenge. The Fight Against Drugs communication strategy seeks to successfully reintroduce a revised set of objectives and criteria that will successfully address the former unsuccessful Building a Drug Free Society campaign (that was initiated and owned by the South African Government). In effect, the Fight Against Drugs communication strategy is a well-considered effort to successfully relaunch a robust communication campaign that will adequately support the Fight Against Drugs development challenge, which ought to be promoted to a top priority item on South Africa’s development agenda. ——— End ———
  17. 17. 17 ENDNOTES   i Point of note — comment: Eldorado Park also happens to be the focal point (i.e. exact geographic location) that the National Drug Master Plan refers to in its foreword by the Minister of Social Development: quote, “The Government further displayed its commitment through the leadership of the President when intervening in the challenges faced by the community of Eldorado Park” (National Drug ii The total of 17 departments and/or authorities, comprise: Dept. Arts and Culture, Dept. Correctional Services, Dept. Education, the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), Dept. Foreign Affairs, Dept. Health, Dept. Home Affairs, Dept. Justice and Constitutional Development, Dept. Labour, Medicines Control Council, the National Youth Commission, Dept. Safety and Security, Dept. Social Development, the South African Police Service (SAPS), and lastly, the Dept. Trade and Industry. iii Based on best practice criteria recommended in (Writing a Communication Strategy, 2014, p. 3) iv The phrase, development “challenge” is preferred to that of development “problem”, which is more commonly used in generic project management terminology. It is hoped that those who will interact and engage with this document will adopt an enthusiastic and proactive approach to this communication strategy, by rather seeing ‘the problem’ as a challenge. v At the time of writing, the most senior ministry members (MP’s) in the South African Ministry of Communications, are Minister Faith Muthambi and Deputy Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams. The Government Communication and Information System is the agency arm of the Ministry of Communications (Ministry | Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), 2015).
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